Encre et couleurs sur soie, signée en haut à droite 59.5 x 48 cm - 23 1/2 x 18 7/8 in.
Ink and color on silk, signed upper right
Mực nho và màu nước trên lụa, ký tên ở góc trên bên phải
PROVENANCE XUẤT XỨ
Collection privée, Paris
B? s?u t?p t? nhân, Paris
Acquis vers 1940 et transmis familialement depuis
Par une construction en triangle digne des maîtres de la Renaissance, le peintre se réapproprie ici la thématique de la Vierge à l'Enfant.
Toutefois, soucieux de se détacher d'une tradition trop académique, il baigne ce portrait d'une spontanéité nouvelle. Un vent de fraicheur semble parcourir la scène, écartant les rideaux et faisant s'envoler le voile maternel, avec une volonté presque impertinente de moderniser le sfumato italien.
Répondant aux préceptes des enseignements classiques italiens, l'oeuvre convoque également à elle tout le lexique de l'iconographie asiatique. Disséminés à divers endroits de la scène, l'éventail, le bouquet ou encore le voile clair font de cette soie une oeuvre riche d'allusions aux origines vietnamiennes de l'artiste.
In this pyramidal composition worthy of the masters of the Renaissance, Le Pho adopts the theme of the Virgin and Child. Turning away from overly academic traditions, he endows the portrait with fresh spontaneity.
A cool breeze seems to blow through the scene, opening the curtains and making the Mother's veil lift, with an almost brash desire to modernize the Italian sfumato.
Responding to the classical Italian precepts, the work also summons the repertoire of Asian iconography. Dispersed across various parts of the scene, the fan, the bouquet, and the light veil make this silk work rich with allusions to the artist's Vietnamese origins.
Le Pho, son of the Viceroy of Tonkin, was a Vietnamese artist born in 1907.
Showing a keen interest and precocious talent for painting and drawing, he attended the Superior Fine Arts School of Indochina, where, from 1925 to 1930, he was part of the first class under the direction of Victor Tardieu. He was taught by various professors, including Joseph Inguimberty. These two men were to have a profound influence on Le Pho's painting. Initiated to Western techniques like oil painting on canvas, he was nonetheless encouraged to maintain an Asian identity in terms of style and creative process, such as using lacquer or painting on silk.
In 1931, Victor Tardieu, taken by the young Vietnamese artist's talent, chose Le Pho as his assistant for the Paris Colonial Exhibition.
During this time, Le Pho traveled to several European cities. He spent time at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris around 1932.
Traveling across the Netherlands, Italy, and Belgium allowed him to gain knowledge of Western art traditions. Discovering the Belgian and Italian Primitives as well as the great masters of the Renaissance had a profound effect on the developments and maturation process of the young artist's style.
In 1933, Le Pho returned to Vietnam where he became a professor at the Hanoi College of Fine Arts. On a trip to Beijing in 1934, he discovered traditional Chinese painting, Song and Ming in particular, which was a revelation. Le Pho returned to Paris in 1937, where he settled and lived until the end of his life. There he discovered the painting of Dufy and Bonnard as well as of Marquet and Matisse, to whom he was respectively introduced in 1941 and 1943.
Endowed with an astonishing ability to absorb and assimilate, Le Pho created a very original synthetic form of art which continuously developed throughout his career. He slowly steered away from classical Chinese and Italian Renaissance traditions to assert his affinities with more recent artists such as the eminent figures of the French avant-garde that he met.
The works presented here provide an eloquent journey among the artist's most wanted years.